John Healey has said that Labour will stop the decline of the great British high street and bring much needed banking services back to communities.

Labour has announced it will accelerate the roll out of ‘banking hubs’ which help people deposit and take out cash as well as get support and help with wider banking services. Labour will work with banks and, where necessary, bring in new powers for the Financial Conduct Authority to stop people being left in ‘banking deserts’ guaranteeing communities access to face-to-face banking services.

The Wentworth and Dearne MP secured a banking hub for Wath from LINK earlier this year after the town was left without any bank branches.

John Healey MP said: “Many people feel that banks are pushing them to use online banking and removing face to face banking services.

“But there are lots of people that only bank in branch and don’t feel comfortable with online banking. Local businesses also need somewhere to go to access funding and deposit cash that isn’t miles away.

“Labour’s plan will bring banking services back to communities who have seen them disappear over recent years, meaning more people across the country will be able to access the services they need closer to home.”

While the Conservatives have delivered just a handful banking hubs, Labour’s plan could see at least 350 banking hubs established on local high streets and, as hubs are shared by the major banks, customers from almost every bank can use the hub.

The plans come as Labour reveals the shocking lack of banking services available on British high streets. Almost half of bank branches in the UK have shut since the Conservatives won their majority in 2015, with Yorkshire losing nearly two thirds of bank branches.

Alongside the plans to bring back banking to communities Labour will also back the great British high street with plans to:

  • Give councils the power to tackle shuttered up shops
  • Tackle antisocial behaviour and shoplifting through dedicated police patrols
  • Replace business rates with a fairer system
  • End late payments to support small businesses.